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I ALWAYS recommend the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to friends and family looking for a rewarding no-annual-fee credit card. This card earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points you can redeem for cash back or move to other eligible Chase cards to save on amazing travel experiences!
If you’re a savvy consumer, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card can be a much better pick than competing 2% cash back cards. I keep it at the top of my wallet because it offers a straightforward way to continuously earn points on everyday purchases. I even use the Freedom Unlimited to earn a profit paying my income taxes.
If you’re new to miles & points, the Chase Freedom Unlimited could be a worthy contender for your first rewards credit card. Plus, hanging on to no-annual-fee cards can increase the average age of your credit accounts and possibly boost your credit score.
Here’s our full review of the card!
Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 Bonus (15,000-Point) Offer
When you sign-up for the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
You can also earn an additional $25 (2,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) for adding your first authorized user and making your first purchase within this same 3-month period.
Taking into account both bonuses, you could earn a total of $175 (17,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points)!
And for everyday spending, you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases. You don’t have to worry about bonus categories or caps on spending.
You can redeem for cash back, gift cards, or travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1 cent per point. For example, if you have 10,000 points, that equates to $100 in cash back, gift, cards, or travel. Or you can get 0.8 cents per point toward Amazon purchases.
Certain gift cards are sometimes offered at a discount through the Chase portal. As I’m writing this post, you can get a 10% discount when you redeem points for gift cards at retailers like eBay and Whole Foods. For example, you’ll pay 9,000 points for a $100 gift card, instead of the usual 10,000 points. (These can and do change, so check for the latest offers.)
There’s no right or wrong way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But Million Mile Secrets team members and readers typically use these valuable points to save money travel! Here’s how…
Pair the Freedom Unlimited With Other Eligible Chase Cards for Big Travel With Small Money!
On their own, points linked to the Freedom Unlimited are only worth 1 cent each. But if you have any of the below Chase Ultimate Rewards point earning credit cards, you can get significantly more value:
You can quickly and instantly move points from the Freedom Unlimited to one of the above cards. Then, you’ll have the ability to transfer points directly to Chase travel transfer partners, including Hyatt, Southwest, United Airlines, and more. You can transfer points to these partners at a 1:1 ratio, which makes the program very straightforward.
Here’s a handy chart showing all of the Chase airline and hotel partners!
You’ll typically get the most value for your Chase Ultimate Rewards points by transferring them to travel partners. Just take a look at these success stories from team members and readers that were made possible thanks to Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
- 6 Business Class Award Flights From Australia worth $45,000 for only $540!
- ~$66,000 Worth of Travel to New Zealand and Australia
- $20,000+ Saved on a Family Vacation for 5 to Europe!
- A Luxury Hawaiian Honeymoon for Nearly NOTHING (Really!)
- Transcontinental Business Class award flight worth ~$1,647
- Only ~$80 Out-of-Pocket for a $2,000+ All-Inclusive Vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico!
I used a ton of Chase points to save on a trip to New Zealand with my wife and family. Here are some video highlights from our memorable adventure!
But you don’t have to become a miles & points expert overnight! Chase also offers a hassle-free way to increase the value of your points and save on travel at the same time. You can book airfare, hotel stays, and rental cars through the Chase travel portal. There are no blackout dates when you book this way!
The prices you see through the Chase travel portal are usually the same (or even cheaper!) than booking through other online travel agencies like Orbitz and Expedia. And you can earn points with the Freedom Unlimited and move them to increase the value.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth:
- 1.25 cents each when you book through Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred
- 1.5 cents each when you book through Chase Sapphire Reserve
This is why the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Reserve make a fantastic credit card combination. Because you can earn 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase. Then, move your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 1.5 cents per point.
Let’s say you spend $10,000 per year on the Freedom Unlimited. This means you’ll earn 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($10,000 X 1.5X per $1).
Moving these points to the Sapphire Reserve makes them worth 1.5 cents each toward travel through the Chase portal. So you can get $225 worth of travel (15,000 points X 1.5 cents per point). Following this strategy means you’re effectively earning 2.25 cents per $1 with the Freedom Unlimited ($225 worth of rewards / $10,000 in spending).
Benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
Besides earning valuable points, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card also comes with certain purchase protection benefits.
If you’re buying a big ticket item, like an appliance or television, you can extend the manufacturer’s warranty just by paying with the Freedom Unlimited.
With this coverage, you’ll get an additional year of warranty on eligible warranties of 3 years or less, up to a maximum of $10,000 per claim, and a maximum of $50,000 per account.
To be eligible for coverage, you must charge some portion of the item’s purchase price to your card or use reward points earned on your card toward the purchase.
This benefit is secondary to any service contract or extended warranty you may have purchased or received.
Shopping with the Chase Freedom Unlimited also means you’ll get automatic purchase protection coverage, which covers you in the event of damage or theft.
If you buy an eligible item in the US with your card, and it’s lost or stolen within 120 days, this coverage will replace, repair, or reimburse you up to a maximum of $500 for each claim and up to $50,000 total for your account.
You can check the Chase Freedom Unlimited Guide to Benefits for restrictions and exclusions about this coverage.
Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Have a Foreign Transaction Fee?
Yes, you will pay foreign transaction fees with this card. So it’s NOT a good choice when you’re traveling overseas. Check out our post with the best no foreign transaction fee credit cards instead.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Better Than the Chase Freedom?
If you can make the most of the $1,500 in spending per quarter ($6,000 per year) in popular rotating 5X bonus categories (which in the past have included restaurants, gas stations, mobile wallets, department stores, and Amazon) you can potentially earn more cash back (or Ultimate Rewards points!) with the Freedom.
That said, some folks prefer not having to track rotating categories or won’t spend the maximum in the bonus category every quarter. This makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited a simpler option.
Who Is Eligible for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card?
This card is meant for folks with good credit scores ~680 and up. If your credit score is lower than that, it doesn’t mean you’ll be automatically declined. There are many factors that go into the review of individual applications.
Keep in mind, Chase will NOT approve you for the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase business cards and these other business cards) in the past 24 months. If you’re new to miles & points, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is an extremely popular no annual fee rewards credit card. When you sign-up, you’ll earn a $150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
I keep the Freedom Unlimited card in my wallet and use it frequently. Because you earn unlimited 1.5% back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases. These points can add up quickly!
On their own, points linked to the Freedom Unlimited are worth 1 cent each toward cash back, gift, cards, or travel through the Chase portal. But pairing the Freedom Unlimited with certain Chase Ultimate Rewards point earning credit cards, like the Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, can make your points much more valuable!
You can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to one of these other card accounts. Then, you’ll have the ability to transfer points directly to Chase travel transfer partners, including Hyatt, Marriott, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, United Airlines, and more.
If you’re planning to apply for the Freedom Unlimited, let me know in the comments!